Monday, March 26, 2012


Shadows Gray is now up on so you can write a review and add it to your books and lists!

Please do!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

And baby makes four!

Not really, but I had to get your attention somehow and nothing does that like new babies.

Mine is a bouncing baby book and it's available now!  I'm gonna cuddle it and squeeze it and name it George.

Do you have your eReader ready?  Well, do you?  If not, I'll wait.  How about now?  Are you ready to spend $2.99 to support your little bloggy friend?

Here's the link to buy it on Amazon, my sweet minions:

Don't have a Kindle or a Nook or an IPad?  You can still download free reading software right here and read it on your PC.  How neat is that?

Have a Nook?  Here you go:

I hope you like it.  I'm going to go throw up now.  That's what you do after going through the birthing process, dontcha know.  After I'm done with that I'm going to email you, call you, text message you, Facebook message you, I.M. you, and send carrier pigeons to you.  Then I'll do it all again tomorrow.  Pretty soon you will be sick of me but please bear with me; this is the only way I know how to market this thing.

Don't forget the other part of your slave labor volunteer position:

Put the links up on your blogs, Facebook walls, and tweet them.  I don't know how to tweet.  Or twit.  Or whatever it's called.  I may have to learn but until that fearful day, the twitching is all up to you.  I figure I have about 5 friends and you have about 6 friends so if we really put our heads together and work hard I can probably sell about 4 copies.

That is all.  I have to go be violently ill and make up worse case scenarios of my first terrible review now.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I accidentally bought $900 shoes

So I keep reading and hearing and seeing about clogs.  You know, the kinda cute, slip on footwear?  My pals who stand on their feet all day swear on their comfort and I know women who would never cheat on their Dansko brand clogs.

Somehow I've never owned a pair.  Probably because of my high insteps.  Anyhoo.  I got thyself to Goodwill the other day and found two pairs that were kind of cute and both seemed to fit my Flintstone/Hobbit feet.  One was oh, I don't know, what brand, but a fairly common, middle of the line, one.

The other...
the other that I bought...

was a European brand.
Called Abba.

It did not occur to me that this brand was actually Abba.

You know, like Dancing Queen Abba?

But they are.

Abba clogs.

Searching all over the web brought me a couple facts:

1.  These are extremely difficult to find.

2.  A pair sold on Ebay a couple years ago for $900.

Now, I don't have the box (which is quite OBVIOUSLY Abba, complete with photos) but the clogs themselves are in amazing shape.

I wore them once for a quick trip to the grocery store.

They hurt like heck.  It seemed as though they have tiny men with tiny spears jumping up and down on my instep.

So if you want em, I'll make ya a deal and sell em to you for half of what they're worth.  $450.

That's a profit for me of $445.01

And you thought I couldn't be a picker!  HA!  Beat that if you can!

Homemade Coffee House Drinks

If you're like me, you're too cheap to buy Starbucks or Moxie or Dutch Bros or whatever your poison is, very often.  Sometimes I splurge but since I used to work in a coffee house and drank my lifetime supply of mochas in three short years and also because my dream cup of coffee of choice is just plain ol' French Roast, I typically make my own at home.

Here are a couple recipes the girls and I came up with.  Anna prefers tea so if you do as well, simply substitute your favorite bag accordingly.  Or leave out the caffeine altogether and have yourself a steamer!

Start with this:

I got mine at Fred Meyer's for about $4.  You only need a teaspoon per cup.

And add it to some hot milk.  You can microwave but somehow it tastes better if you whisk it in a pot on the stove.

Use whatever percentage of milk that floats your boat.  But the creamier the better!

Gingerbread Latte:

Add to your hot mess a spoonful of molasses, an equal amount of brown sugar, and top with cinnamon and ginger.

Tastes like you spent $4, plus you get to sip out of your favorite mug at home, while reading a book or knitting or watching Worst Cooks in America.

White Chocolate Mocha:

When your milk is nice and hot, toss in several (a small palmful) white chocolate chips.  Stir until they melt and add your espresso powder.  Voila!

You can also use these yummy instant coffee straw-like envelopes from Starbucks but evidently they are made from gold leaf and strands of angel's hair so you won't be able to afford them.

Pumpkin Spice Latte:

For your own Pumpkin syrup (Starbucks has no pumpkin at all in, mix:
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar, brown sugar, agave, Splenda, whatever floats your boat
1/2 t vanilla
1 cup water
dashes of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg
Boil together for about 10 minutes.

Whisk a couple spoonfuls into your hot milk (or use cream for extra decadence, Breve style) and coffee powder.

Enjoy your afternoon pick-me-up!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Published! Not yet.

Waiting on a new head shot...

...REALLY hope it's worth waiting for...

...itching to hit that Publish button...


Thanks for being patient. And for being excited. 

If my photo turns out like a typical photo of moi (three chins and no eyes) I will opt out of the head shot photo idea and just remain your mysterious author.

That is all.

Check back soon.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Shadows Gray: summary

Sonnet Gray has problems, and not just those of a typical 18 year old.  Her family is one of the Lost; time travelers who have no power over their journeys.  Hopelessly old fashioned and yet more modern than most girls, Sonnet speaks several languages and takes care of her motley crue back home by working in a coffee shop and playing guitar.  Over time, the Lost leave behind those they love and pick up new characters along the way.  In twenty-first century America, Sonnet meets Emme, a Lost young woman with a questionable line of work, Luke, a mysterious photographer, and Israel, a young doctor .  But no one can take the place of Sonnet's sister, Rose, who was left behind as a baby in the fifteenth century.  The ghost of her beckons from each time and place; but what's real and what isn't? Is Rose Gray trying to contact her before it's too late?

A ghost story with a sci-fi, Gothic romance twist, Shadow's Gray will keep you up at night, wondering: is the redemptive power of love enough to change history? 

Available for download this week.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Shadows Gray

This is my cover art.

I think it's smashing.

It's coming.
I've nearly hit Publish.
I'm almost ready.
But I'm skeered.

Soon my little minions (that's YOU) come into play.  I need your help marketing and selling and buying.  You don't have to buy anything processed or sold, or sell anything processed or bought, or process anything sold...bought... Sorry, Lloyd Dobler occasionally takes up residence in my noggin.  He's gone now.  Back to the topic at hand.

I can't sell anything.  I couldn't sell a glass of water to a burning man.  Why is he burning?  I don't know.  I would probably spill the glass while asking him about it.  He'd burn to death while I dilly dallyed talking to him about his day.  In any case I would ultimately convince him he wasn't really thirsty and my glass of water was too expensive and wouldn't he really rather have milk and fire looks good on him.

I sold Mary Kay once.  For like, ten minutes.  Everyone took advantage of my niceness and wrote me checks that bounced and took off with all my samples.  I was not successful.

I even get nervous and clammy hosting those scam parties where someone else does the selling of the tupperware or candles or stoneware or whathaveyou.  I'm not even the one doing the selling and I'll mess it up.

So I  need you guys.  I wrote the book.  You sell it for me?  Puhleeze? Word of mouth is everything in this business (or so I've heard).   Here's how to help:

1.  Buy it and write a little review.  You know, nothing over the top, just something like this was the best book I ever read!  Shakespeare could learn a little something from this amazing new author!  Tolstoy was a hack next to Ms Williams!  You know.  Something simple like that.

2.  Tell your friends.  Family.  Random strangers.  Snakes on a plane.  Etc.

3.  Join places like and listopia.  Write up a quick "List of My Favorite Books" and put Shadows Gray on it.  It only takes a minute.

4.  If you have a blog, will you feature the book?  Write a review or interview me?  Comment or email me and let me know if you are willing.

5.  Share the links and picture on your Facebook wall.  Once or twice.  Or every Thursday for the rest of your life.  Three times on weekends and every holiday.  Other than that, I won't take up too much of your wall.

6.  Leave comments and reviews on places like Amazon and Barnes and Noble (where it will be sold).

If none of that works and we only sell four copies (three to my mommy) it's okay.  I still had fun writing it and I greatly appreciate all of you cheering me on and telling me I could do it.  That's worth its weight in gold (and royalties).

Stay tuned this week for all the links to the published book!  Follow them and buy one (or eleven) if you would!

You're the best minions ever and I love you ever so much.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

You've Reached Gianni

I feel the need to apologize if you get a phone call from me.  To be more precise, from my son, (whomigavebirthtowithouttheuseofdrugscanigetanAmen?) who is completely obsessed with making phone calls. I've tried telling him he should attempt to leave the house more than once per week but he looks at me all funny, hikes up his pajama bottoms and last week's boxers, and dials yet another number.  His nearest and dearest have learned to not answer the calls.  Even Gramma, who CLAIMS she was painting ceilings.  All day.  And all day tomorrow.  Possibly into next week.  Of course, all he wants to talk about is video games, Milo's whereabouts, the odor of his own poo, his owies, movies, and Star Wars, so I do understand the phone screening.  I'd screen his calls too, but he doesn't need a phone to talk my ear off.  He just needs to follow me into the little mom's room where I'm peacefully lathering my hair in silence only to be brought down to earth by a small, nekked man doing #2 a mere 18 inches from my shower stall.

"Why can't you do that in the other bathroom?"  I demand, peeking out, shampoo blinding me for life (if the smell from last night's chili doesn't do me in first).

"Cuz I need to talk to you," he says, cheerily, elbows on his bare knees.  He has to strip down for #2.  Don't ask why.

"Talk to me about what?"

"Well, thanks for dinner tonight," he says.

"Umm.  You're welcome."

"Next time could you make something that tastes yummy?"


"I'm not done yet. you wanna talk about Darth Maul or Darth Sidious first?"

After seventy-eleventh descriptions of clone troopers vs. storm troopers, he manages to waddle off (waddle because his legs will have fallen asleep, leaving behind a bright scarlet, toilet bowl shaped ring on his backside), leaving me in a green, vaporous mushroom cloud of death.  My hair immediately loses it's promised bounce and vitality as I struggle to regain consciousness.

So you understand why I'm trying to limit the guy's phone skills.  Anyhoo, he was unintentionally cracking me up today because he has heard this message far too many times now:

To leave a voice message, press 1 after the beep.

But he thinks it says,

To leave a boy's message, press 1 after the beep.

So, he grumpily presses 1 (because he's a boy) and promptly hangs up.

This makes me laugh.

He gets confused sometimes if he's leaving a message for a girl.  He doesn't know what number to press.  Is it 2?  Is it 9?  Is Gramma a girl?  So many unanswered questions!  Life is hard when you're four years old and no one will take your calls.  Should he always press 1 because he's always a boy, even if he's calling a girl?  The operator has not made this clear.  It's a conundrum and it furrows his little brow.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


So I'm having a momentary freak out and if I text message it it'll be 24 texts long, all arriving in un-chronological order, and if I Facebook status it it will be way too long, and if I say it out loud I'll cry and I don't like crying - it gives me a headache and makes me crave chocolate and causes my mascara to run down my face where I have to scrape it off with a butter knife later - so I'll just blog it.

I have a friend moving to Ireland.

That's across an ocean.

I won't be able to call and say take me shopping before I eat my children. Or please bring me hot wings. Or do these pants make me look fat? Or I have Goodwill coupons, meet me at the curb in three minutes.  Or let's go out for margaritas and a movie.  I mean, I could call and say those things to her but she'd be like, yeah, girl, I'm in Ireland wearing cable knit sweaters, sipping Guinness, conversing with Liam Neeson and Colin Farrell, exploring castles, and eating corned beef and cabbage and soda bread.  

And I know she loves me and all, but I really cannot compete with Liam or Colin.  Colin is way prettier and I'm just not as good at vigilantism as Liam.  I mean, if a teen girl gets kidnapped and sold into slavery who are you gonna call: me or Liam?  There's just no competition.  He'd be like, keep calm, I got this.  And I'd be like, panic immediately! I'm gonna throw up!  Call the police, call my dad, call Liam Neeson!  I will sit by the phone and  eat ice cream until this situation resolves itself!  

So in a few weeks we meet to say goodbye and I really don't know who we're fooling because the only person who despises goodbyes more than I do is her.  I'll be hiding behind a rose bush, sucking my thumb, and she'll be locking herself in her car, and there will be no goodbyes.  Our husbands will drag us, kicking and screaming out from our respective haunts and force us to but we won't.  We will avoid eye contact and I am stating for the record right now I am not hugging her baby goodbye.  You can't make me.  Well, maybe one quick hug.  

The strange thing about my friend, Genesis, is how much we've been through together.  

She was there the day Cora disappeared in the woods and she was gone for an hour and a half and she was only four years old and I hyperventilated and Gen took Anna, who was only a munchkin, down to get the sheriff and Anna kept saying 'where's Cora?' and Gen had to hold it together because the munchkin's mama was falling apart.  We referred to that as The Episode of Which We Do Not Speak until something happened a year or so later that nearly dwarfed The Episode of Which We Do Not Speak and that title was transferred.  We like to rotate our emergency titles like that.

She was there when Gianni had a life threatening reaction to a medication and once again, she took charge of Anna so that I could ride along in the ambulance.

She was there last year when I was told what an awful person I was by people I gave up everything to help and my family was torn apart.  She was there when I lost my voice from tears and fed me and helped me pack my life into a utility trailer.  She was there to financially help me get back West - home - because if she hadn't we'd still be stranded in Nebraska somewhere, out of gas and out of food with a debit card that was declined.  

I was there when we thought her husband was dead and he wasn't.
I was there when they brought home their baby from foster care, not knowing how long they'd get to have him and I was there to celebrate with eggs bennies the day they adopted him for good.

She's been Santa and the Easter Bunny for twelve years for my kids.  She's thrown me baby showers and surprise birthday parties.   She allows me to text her fashion commentaries during every televised awards show.  She gave me a really cool red pot that weighs sixteen tons and which broke her foot and makes me think of her every time I use it - which is nearly daily - and also makes me feel like a chef because it's always featured on cooking shows.  

Will she make lady finger Halloween cookies for Liam and Colin?
Will she knit them scarves and quilt them baby quilts and give them manicures?
I hope they appreciate her.
I hate Ireland.

If you'd like to check out their Irish missionary page feel free to do so right here and right here .  But whatever you do, don't tell them to have a good time.  We want them to come back in a speedy fashion and bring some cable knit sweaters. 

Love you, Gen!  Consider this our goodbye because I am SO barricading myself in the bathroom at your goodbye party. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pickled dog

I gave birth to a hermit.  Once upon a time, he looked like this:

Now he looks like this:

I have problems with my itty bitty baby becoming this.  Here they are in no particular order:

1.  All his laundry consists of is pajama bottoms and the occasional pair of underpants.

2.   He is eating all my groceries at an alarming rate.

3.  He may be the first homeschooler to live up to his unsocialized reputation.  I'd hate for my kid to be the one to set us homeschoolers back twenty years.

Now that his sisters are old enough to babysit, the child refuses to accompany me anywhere.  People are beginning to think I made him up.  When we force him to set his pudgy barefeet out of his abode, you'd think we'd suggested that he chew off his own eyebrows or something.

Anyway, the point of this post is not my agoraphobic son but #2 on the list above.  I just got back from grocery shopping AGAIN.  I spent $140 and I didn't even buy coffee or milks (I say milk in the plural form because of G's allergies which he's mostly beaten but he still drinks almond milk).  I didn't splurge on anything except for the Chedder and Sour Cream potato chips which actually begged me to take them home and when I refused, jumped into my cart.  It was odd, but sometimes these things happen.  I didn't want to make a scene so I bought them.  Anyhoo...I feel completely grumpy about this cost of living thing right now.

Pickles were expensive!!  Pickles!!  Rejected cucumbers!

Nasty looking questionable meat products were expensive!  I kind of think I bought dog.

I only bought one type of cheese!  Who lives like that??

I passed by the Hagan Daaz with a self control that would utterly impress you and also made me weak kneed and breathless.  But pass by I did!

I didn't buy bread.  I didn't buy wine.  I didn't buy cereal.  I didn't buy hair products or make up or yoga pants or toilet paper or jewelry or real estate.  The only non-edibles I bought were deodorant for my hubby's pits (and why Old Spice makes Original so dang impossible to find is beyond me.  Can I start a petition or something?  Who's with me?) and small paper plates and a children's cold medicine.

This will only get us through a week.  Am I spending too much?  Am I unrealistic in my wishes to spend less?  There were some organics in there, but I bought them at Grocery Outlet for a fraction of the price...

We are a family of five in case you didn't know.  The three chitlins are homeschooled, thus they spend all their time on my couch, eating.  This could be part of the dilemma.  I hate to smack food out of their mouths more than twice a day.

What do you spend?

What is your favorite cheap meal?

Either make me feel better or school me in how to save money!  That was not a request.  Seriously.  Comment.  Or I will find you.  Right at dinner time.

I like steak.